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I was at Chelsea right after Corps school in San Diego. I worked on Ward G for a few months and then was transferred to the delivery room. I also remember the run up the long tunnel for blood and other lab stuff. Transferred out in Dec '69 for Vietnam and served as a Corpsman in the Combined Action Program. Wanted to come back to Chelsea, but they said no because of the pending decommission. So I went to the Hospital in Bremerton, WA.

Only lived in the barracks for a few months and then 6 of us rented a tenement apartment in Chelsea, right above the fire station and almost directly across the street from Frankie's Sub Shop. When I went in to tell them I was going to Nam, they were flabbergasted. They thought I was one of the kids from the junior high school nearby. That's how young I looked at 19!

Some familiar names: Nurses Ensign Katie Felix, LT Kathy Amber, LT Gayle Offenbacher, LT Maylin Wood, LT Martin, Ensign Connie Bourne.

Corpsmen: HM2 Chuck Jones who I met up with at Fitzsimmons. He was a Rad Tech and took time off to tour with Jackson Browne as a sound and light man. He had played drums for the "Soul Survivors" a one hit wonder band with the song Expressway to Your Heart". HN Craig Damewood. 

Of course I remember the EM Club and how hard we partied, especially in the summer of '69. I met the daughter of HMCS Louie St. Pierre at the club and we dated for a while. Was pretty serious until I was getting ready for Vietnam and she couldn't handle that and broke up with me.

I played catcher on the hospital fast pitch softball team.

I was known around the hospital as "Dog Man".

Would enjoy hearing from anyone who was there.

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Replies to This Discussion

Rich, It was interesting to read your post.  I was stationed there before you, from Oct of '66 to August of '68, when I was discharged from the Navy.  I signed up under the "kiddie cruise", so was out at 21.  I too played on the fast pitch softball team and we were runner ups in the Boston area in '67.  Of course, pitching was everything.  

A few of the people that I hung out with were Matt Menglekoch, Vicky Bacellio, John More and Linda Sigl, a fantastic girl from Green Bay Wisconsin.  There were a lot more, but those are the only names that I remember.  Matt and I were gone before you arrived.  I was an outfielder on the teams of '67 and '68.  Received a jacket from USNH Chelsea recognizing our "runner up" (2nd place) position in '67.  BTW, I was known as Dick Ponce then.    

I sure don't remember the nurses names, though one of our enlisted teammates was dating one, but no made a big deal of it.  More of a wink and a nod.  I do remember, so well, the EM club and all the dancing, drinking and partying.  

Matt and myself had a place right off the base and paid $25 per month rent.  Had lots of parties there.  When exiting the base, if you stayed on the road, you would run into the house.  We were in a basement apt that opened to the road on the street that dog legs right from the exit road.  

Boy, do I remember the many sub-shops that Chelsea had.  Many a good meal.  

Richard, my name is Jim Knippel, and I was in the dental clinic but spent most of my time in the operating room doing surgeries.I was recently diagnosed with PTSD, cause is all the horrible injuries and surgeries I saw and participated in. But the VA says because it was not combat related I have to find someone that remembers some of these patients, not names but just the things wrong. If you might be able o help me, please e-mail me at 


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